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ESTCO produces precision aluminum, copper alloy, and zinc custom die cast parts and products. We can manufacture custom parts to your print. Our die cast procedures include micro-processing control as well as 100% part inspection. Our finishing services include: machining, plating, powder coating, and assembly.
Die casting is a manufacturing process that can produce geometrically complex metal parts through the use of reusable molds, called dies. The die casting process involves the use of a furnace, metal, die casting machine, and die. The metal, typically a non-ferrous alloy such as aluminum or zinc, is melted in the furnace and then injected into the dies in the die casting machine. After the molten metal is injected into the dies, it rapidly cools and solidifies into the final part, called the casting. The castings that are created in this process can vary greatly in size and weight. One common application of die cast parts are housings – thin-walled enclosures, often requiring many ribs and bosses on the interior. Metal housings for a variety of appliances and equipment are often die cast. Several automobile components are also manufactured using die casting, including pistons, cylinder heads, and engine blocks. Other common die cast parts include propellers, gears, bushings, pumps, and valves.
Materials for Die Casting:Aluminum Alloys, Zinc Alloys, Magnesium.
Squeeze Casting is another effective way to produce quality casts for precision parts. Our engineers and technicians are very familiar with this casting process and are capable of making detailed cast molds to print every time.
Squeeze casting is a process with slow filling rates, minimum turbulence and high pressure throughout solidification to consistently produce high integrity castings capable of heat treatment and surface anodizing. The suitable materials include brass and aluminum. The process is also known as liquid forging. Current applications include automotive wheels and suspension parts, components of air conditioning, bicycle, control valve, pump housing, as well as pistons and steering components.
Materials for Squeeze Casting:Aluminum Alloys, Copper Alloys, Zinc.
Instead of using sand as the mold material, a metal is used as a mold. Typically cast iron or Meehanite (a dense cast iron) is used as the mold material and the cores are made from metal or sand. Cavity surfaces are coated with a thin layer of heat resistant material such as clay or sodium silicate.
Sand casting, also known as sand molded casting, is a metal casting process characterized by using sand as the mold material. It is relatively cheap and sufficiently refractory even for steel foundry use. A suitable bonding agent (usually clay) is mixed or occurs with the sand. The mixture is moistened with water to develop strength and plasticity of the clay and to make the aggregate suitable for molding. Sand casting, the most widely used casting process, utilizes expendable sand molds to form complex metal parts that can be made of nearly any alloy. Because the sand mold must be destroyed in order to remove the part, called the casting, sand casting typically has a low production rate. The metal is melted in the furnace and then ladled and poured into the cavity of the sand mold, which is formed by the pattern. The sand mold separates along a parting line and the solidified casting can be removed. Sand casting is used to produce a wide variety of metal components with complex geometries. These parts can vary greatly in size and weight. Some smaller sand cast parts include components as gears, pulleys, crankshafts, connecting rods, and propellers. Larger applications include housings for large equipment and heavy machine bases. Sand casting is also common in producing automobile components, such as engine blocks, engine manifolds, cylinder heads, and transmission cases.
Materials for Sand Casting: Aluminum, Carbon Steel, Copper Alloys, Gray/Ductile/Malleable Iron
ESTCO is a specialist in investment casting, also called “lost wax” casting. Investment casting is a method to produce precision parts needing little post production machining. Our engineers can produce quality investment castings for your business.
Investment casting is one of the oldest manufacturing processes, dating back thousands of years, in which molten metal is poured into an expendable ceramic mold. The mold is formed by using a wax pattern – a disposable piece in the shape of the desired part. The pattern is surrounded, or “invested”, into ceramic slurry that hardens into the mold. Investment casting is often referred to as “lost-wax casting” because the wax pattern is melted out of the mold after it has been formed. Lost-wax processes are one-to-one (one pattern creates one part), which increases production time and costs relative to other casting processes. However, since the mold is destroyed during the process, parts with complex geometries and intricate details can be created. Investment casting can make use of most metals, most commonly using aluminum alloys, bronze alloys, magnesium alloys, cast iron, stainless steel, and tool steel. This process is beneficial for casting metals with high melting temperatures that cannot be molded in plaster or metal. Parts that are typically made by investment casting include those with complex geometry such as turbine blades or firearm components. High temperature applications are also common, which includes parts for the automotive, aircraft, and military industries.
Materials for Investment Casting: Carbon Steel, Stainless Steel, Brass, Bronze
The process of forging refines the grain structure and improves physical properties of the metals. With proper design, the grain flow can be oriented in the direction of principal stresses encountered in actual use. Grain flow is the direction of the pattern that the crystals take during plastic deformation. Physical properties, such as strength, ductility, and toughness, are much better in forging then in the base metal, which has crystals randomly oriented.
Forging is a manufacturing process involving the shaping of metal using localized compressive forces using a power hammer or a press. Forging is often classified according to the temperature at which it is performed: “cold”, “warm”, or “hot” forging. Forged parts can vary in size and weight. Forged parts usually require further processing to achieve a finished part. Forging can produce a piece that is stronger than an equivalent cast or machined part. Some metals may be forged cold, but iron and steel are almost always hot forged. Hot forging prevents the work hardening that would result from cold forging, which would increase the difficulty of performing secondary machining operations on the piece. Also, while work hardening may be desirable in some circumstances, other methods of hardening the piece, such as heat treating, are generally more economical and more controllable. Alloys that are amenable to precipitation hardening, such as most aluminum alloys and titanium, can be hot forged, followed by hardening. Most forging operations use metal-forming dies, which must be precisely machined and carefully heat-treated to correctly shape the work piece, as well as to withstand the tremendous forces involved.
Materials for Forging:Aluminum, Brass, Steel
ESTCO can produce quality metal stampings for your business needs. Metal stamping is a cost effective method of part manufacturing. It includes; blanking, shearing, hot or cold forming, drawing, bending, or coining. Our engineers can advise you if this process will work for your next project.
Stamping includes a variety of sheet-metal forming manufacturing processes, such as punching using a machine press or stamping press, blanking, embossing, bending, flanging, and coining. This could be a single stage operation where every stroke of the press produces the desired form on the sheet metal part, or could occur through a series of stages. The process is usually carried out on sheet metal, but can also be used on other materials, such as polystyrene. The operations associated with stamping are blanking, piercing, forming, and drawing. These operations are done with dedicated tooling also known as hard tooling. This type of tooling is used to make high volume parts of one configuration of the part design. All these operations can be done either at a single die station or multiple die station.
Materials for Stamping:Carbon Steel, Stainless Steel, Spring Steel, Brass, Bronze, Aluminum